Representative Office in Thailand

Representative Office in Thailand

Representative Office in Thailand. Expanding a business into a foreign market requires careful planning and consideration of local regulations. In Thailand, one common method of market entry for foreign companies is through the establishment of a representative office. A representative office serves as a liaison between the parent company and potential customers or business partners in Thailand. In this guide, we’ll delve into the key aspects of setting up a representative office in Thailand.

Understanding the Concept

A representative office is a non-trading entity that serves as an extension of the parent company abroad. Its primary purpose is to conduct market research, promote the parent company’s products or services, and facilitate communication with local stakeholders. Unlike a branch office or subsidiary, a representative office cannot engage in profit-generating activities or enter into contracts on behalf of the parent company.

Eligibility Criteria

To establish a representative office in Thailand, the parent company must meet certain eligibility criteria. Typically, these criteria include:

  • The parent company must be a registered legal entity in its home country.
  • The activities of the representative office must be limited to non-trading activities, such as market research and promotional activities.
  • The parent company must have a proven track record of at least one year in its home country.

Registration Process

The registration process for a representative office in Thailand involves several steps:

  • Submission of application: The parent company must submit an application to the Department of Business Development (DBD) along with the required documents, including a letter of intent, board resolution, and proof of financial standing.
  • Approval: Upon receipt of the application, the DBD will review the documents and, if satisfied, issue a Letter of Approval for the establishment of the representative office.
  • Registration: With the Letter of Approval in hand, the parent company can proceed to register the representative office with the Ministry of Commerce and obtain a registration certificate.

Operational Restrictions

It’s important to note that representative offices in Thailand are subject to certain operational restrictions:

  • Non-trading activities: Representative offices are prohibited from engaging in profit-generating activities, such as sales or manufacturing.
  • Taxation: Since representative offices are not considered separate legal entities, they are not subject to corporate income tax. However, they may still be liable for withholding tax on certain expenses.

Compliance and Reporting

Once established, representative offices must comply with certain reporting requirements, including:

  • Annual financial reporting: Representative offices must submit annual financial statements to the relevant authorities.
  • Renewal: Registration of representative offices must be renewed annually to maintain legal compliance.


Establishing a representative office in Thailand can be an effective strategy for foreign companies looking to explore business opportunities in the country. By understanding the regulatory requirements and following the registration process diligently, companies can establish a presence in Thailand and begin building relationships with local stakeholders.

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